Worth it

What is precious to you? We all have something that is precious to us. Something of great value to us. Whatever it is, you probably don’t like when other people touch it or handle it. Maybe you are willing to pay a great deal of money to get or repair it. Maybe it has intrinsic value or maybe it just holds sentimental value to you. 

The word precious comes form the Latin root word pretium. Pretium means price. In other words, whatever is precious to you comes with a great price.

You or I would be willing to pay a great price for that precious item. In the first two parables in this Sunday’s gospel Jesus talks about a treasure buried in a field and a pearl of great price. Both are precious. Jesus describes these hidden things which have incredible worth. The characters the parables sell everything to gain the treasure and the pearl pay a great price. How much is the hidden treasure worth? Everything.

Often we interpret these parables to mean that faith in Jesus, the gospel, is the hidden treasure and we need to sell everything in order to receive the gift. While that is true, I don’t think that is the only way to read these parables. 

The other way to read them is that you and I are the pearl, the treasure. You and I are the thing of immense value. What are we worth to Jesus Christ? Everything.

God is willing to trade it all to gain us. Jesus sold everything he had including his life in order to win us heaven. Jesus sacrificed everything his life, his dignity to bring us home. God values you and me, not because we deserve it, but because we belong to him.

We are hidden treasure. For some of us, the treasure is very hidden. But God knows what and who we really are. We are His. We are made in the image and likeness of God. We are baptized sons and daughters of God. We are worth it.

LIVE IT: Take a little reflection time – figure out how much you are worth (like financially). Even if the bank still owns a big portion of your house or car or whatever, add it all up. Would you pay that amount of money to know Jesus? What is God worth to you? Pray in thanksgiving that Jesus gave up infinitely more than that just to win your heart. Thanks be to God!

The Good Word for June 7th

FullSizeRender For the complete Sunday readings click here.

Kids are funny. One of my favorite kid things happens only when they are toddlers. My kids would fall down and then look up to me to see if they are okay or if they should cry. I learned quickly that if I just said, “You’re okay! Dust it off!” and smile, then my kids would be fine.

Until, of course, there is blood. If they fall and are bleeding, they know it is serious and tears are most certainly called for. How do they know? Did I accidently teach them that blood means a more serious injury? Or do they just kind of know?

With our modern medical discoveries, we know how important blood is. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to our cells. Blood protects us from bacteria and viruses. Lose too much blood and you die. Blood is life.

Even without our medical knowledge, the Hebrew people understood the importance of blood. For them blood was sacred because it meant life and death. When Moses wanted to signify a covenant between God and the Hebrew people, he used blood because this relationship between God and his people is a life and death relationship. Moses knew that without God, his people would die.

No different for us. Without God, we die. But instead of bull’s blood, we have God’s own blood given to us by Jesus Christ. When we go to Mass, we actually consume Jesus’ body and blood in the Eucharist. We no longer sacrifice animals because Jesus has given himself as the sacrifice. That sacrifice was made on the Cross 2000 years ago, and we participate in it every time we go to Mass.

The Mass isn’t just music and words. At Mass we remember, reinforce, reestablish, renew, and recommit to our deeply intimate and profoundly powerful relationship with God. And we recommit to that covenant with God by receiving Jesus’ body and blood. It is this relationship that will save our life. Jesus shed his blood, gave his very life, so that we may have life with God forever.

Live it:
Go to Mass. Pray for a deeper desire to be close to God.